By Eleanor Sevigny
The CDC reported adult cases of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress related symptoms, and thoughts of suicide has increased by 41% during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the increased cases it is very important for us as a community to recognize the importance of mental health.
Scotty Eberhard works at Iron Spike, plays the guitar, and performs locally in Galesburg. Life right now is great for him, however, life was not always great. Eberhard struggled with substance abuse in the past. To raise awareness about mental health Eberhard answered a few questions and shared his story, a story of hope.
Question: What is your life like right now?
Eberhard: At the moment, my life is great! I am playing music regularly, spending time with my friends and loved ones more often, working and growing, and exercising regularly. I feel incredibly blessed to have a routine.
Question: Can you talk about some of the highs and lows you have had with drugs?
Eberhard: Becoming a drug addict was never my intention, as I think most people who struggle with the affliction would articulate as well. It started as a social tool and spiraled into the depths of hell at a certain point. I’ve been to rehab 8 times, and only finished once. I’ve been homeless, and not just crashing on couches, but like, HOMELESS homeless. Sleeping in shelters. At a certain point, I didn’t know if I’d survive, but I also was resigned to not care.
Question: What advice would you give to someone who is hooked on drugs?
Eberhard: Love yourself. No one can quit unless they believe they can quit. Action follows belief. I was never about to stop the detriment to my well being until I was shown the love by a select few who refused to give up on me.
Question: Can you talk a bit about what you said about the "Galesburg family" that has helped you out?
Eberhard: My friends here are all my best friends because they’re THE best friends. Karl McNaught is one of the coolest, sweetest dudes ever. He helped me shoot my first music video. He’s done countless efforts to promote artistic creativity in Galesburg. Kyle Rowheder is constantly gassing me up and encouraging me to keep at it. Mike Budde has always been a friend and presented local musicians with numerous opportunities to play, multiple times a week.
Question: Where is your music career at right now and what do you hope to do with it?
Eberhard: Very exciting things have been happening musically. I’ll be appearing on a Peoria based news outlet called What’s Up, Peoria. They do an interview and record a few songs of mine. I’m working on a studio album that will be ready by August. I’m playing a music festival called 309Fest in Peoria on July 16th. Every Friday night I am performing in front of La Cantanita here in Galesburg. And I am at the open mic at Buddes Bar and Pizza here in Galesburg every Tuesday night to help support the local scene. Whatever other aspirations I may have will take time to see, so for right now I’m just focusing on the doing and letting what will be, be.
Question: What are your job duties at Iron Spike?
Eberhard: I’ve grown so much because of my Spike family! I bartend and serve there, but recently I’ve been able to learn a bit about the brewing process and have been afforded the opportunity to do some light duties during it. It’s an incredible industry and I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve gotten from the managers and coworkers there. They have literally saved my life.
Question: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Eberhard: You can do whatever you believe you can do. Action follows belief. You’re worth it. Love yourself. Keep pushing through. You’re worth it, always.